The first time I went out to find stores to sell my work in I didn’t talk to any boutique or store owners. I simply went through, decided if my work was a good fit and collected business cards. If the employees on staff looked free and approachable I approached and made small talk but it turns out I was not brave enough to mention that I was an artist.
The second time, months later, I did better. I went to a different town and I wore my jewelry and I talked to those running the stores I liked. I introduced myself as an artist. Then I asked if they may be interested. Twice the conversation was started with their complimenting my jewelry… “Well actually, I made this and I sell them.”
The third time I was much more confident. I wore my jewelry and had a box with more samples and business cards in my bag. I did not hesitate to start the conversation and I covered great ground. After a couple rejections I no longer had fear.
My first time out I did not give store owners the opportunity to reject me; the third time out I was rejected many times. But the third time was incredibly successful. I talked to many more people, covered great ground and was professional and direct. Of course there is much more to improve on but the take home is that each time has been an improvement and at some point the fear of rejection is no longer a fear.
These three adventures occurred over several months and while my art was basically the same through this time my personal confidence grew greatly between each visit. Part of this growth was due to what I wanted but hadn’t accomplished in the last attempt. I have learned my art has worth; I have worth. With worth no longer on the table it becomes a simple business transaction. I am only looking for boutiques or stores whose management I get along with. The growth could only be gained by doing.
What has challenged you lately and did you stand up to take the challenge and grow from it?